SS Innovation's new Mantra robot
"SS Innovations (SSI), the China-based company Dr. Srivastava founded in 2017, is now demonstrating an affordable, modular robotic surgical system capable of complex motion control. "Current robotic systems are far too expensive and take years to master, which means that very few surgeons are trained to operate these systems and much of the world is unable to access this technology," explains Dr. Srivastava, who has performed over 1,400 robot-assisted cardiac procedures.
One of the innovations that's enabling the development of the SSI surgical system, and indeed a development that's driving the spread of robotics in general, is the availability of off-the-shelf controls software. SSI is using a robotic controls toolkit from Energid Technologies called Actin.
Leveraging Energid’s Actin software to tackle the complex motion-control problem freed the SSI team to focus on creating robot hardware and a surgeon command center to address core clinical use cases. SSI’s recent successful technical validation—in which the SSI Mantra system was tested on 10 animals for one exploratory laparotomy and nine cholecystectomy procedures —showed that its efforts are paying off.
The surgeon command center has two adaptable master hand controllers with an extended range of motion to accommodate any surgeon, big or small. Designed for comfort and ergonomics, the surgeon command center includes a large 3D display that allows the surgeon to sit in a natural upright position. The modular hardware is comprised of four highly dexterous robots that can be attached to the operating table or mobile stands nearby.
Because SSI doesn't need to develop a controls architecture from scratch, it's been able to focus on hardware and unique solutions adapted to a wide user base. One of the key innovations is the use of a software-enforced remote center of motion (RCM), which keeps surgical instruments from moving side to side at the point of incision during minimally invasive surgeries. That takes an enormous burden off surgeons and makes robot-assisted surgeries easier. SSI recently tested its system tested its system on 10 animals for one exploratory laparotomy with promising results.a